Twas the night of the underdogs. Completely unexpected and shocking was the events of the UFC 196 fight on Saturday night where eight out of the thirteen fights were conquered by the underdog.
The stagy, foul mouthed, and maybe even delusional fighter Conner McGregor lost his first fight to Nate Diaz.
Holly Holm also lost to Meisha Tate in her first title defence. The Albuquerque native held a brief stint as champion as her defeat of Ronda Roussey was only a brief six months ago.
Not one to tune into a UFC fight normally, this was an event that even disbelievers couldn’t resist.
Let’s recap about McGregor
Most Americans love and hate Connor McGregor for his god like complex, his outrageous insolence, and blatant disrespect for his opponents. But on this night, it was hard to determine whether he lost or won.
Connor McGregor did not need to fight Nate Diaz. He had no reason to relinquish his featherweight belt. A true fighter and a lover of the sport that he is, McGregor put on 25 pounds of additional weight and took on a fighter with no direct bearing to any title competition or weight class.
How to do we determine what his intentions for the fight were? Could it have been because he simply loves to fight? Maybe win or lose McGregor knew he would make barrels of riches.
Nonetheless, McGregor’s loss was the biggest highlight in Nate Diaz’s career. It was Diaz’s skilled submission that beat McGregor in the second round.
A man who entered the fight with a foul mouth left it with honor. McGregor continued to challenge his doubters by leaving the UFC event like a professional.
He handled is defeat with grace and respect by owning his loss rather than reeling in self pity.
The true champion that he is, McGregor acknowledged his beating, beard his flaws, and credited Nate Diaz.
At only 27 years of age, McGregor has ample time to resurrect his winnings. I believe he will be able to showcase his strength, will and determination and return from this defeat.